Pench National Park, Maharashtra: A Beautiful and Serene Experience

If you want to visit a serene forest, as forests should be, you must visit Pench National Park, Maharashtra.

Pench is a beautiful jungle, and the poet Kalidas wrote about the scenic beauty of these forests in his epics ‘Meghdootam’ and ‘Shakuntalam’.R.A. Strendale’s ‘Camp in the Satpura Hills’ draws a vivid pen picture of this idyllic paradise – as does Forsyth’s ‘Highlands of Central India’.

Pench National Park is divided between Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. We visited the Maharashtra side, and were delighted by the quaintness, and low commercialisation. There weren’t many resorts (thankfully, at least when we visited in 2010), and tourists were also few. The forest department ran only about 21 Jeep Safaris at a time. Although we didn’t have a tiger sighting, we did enjoy the forest drives, and we managed to see the Jackal, the Fox and the Wolf, apart from many birds, mammals and ungulates. From the Maharashtra side, the entry to Pench is through the Sillari Gate.

We had an extremely basic stay at the Forest Rest House. The canteen was a few meters away from the rooms, and there was no room service. At night, the walk from the rooms to the canteen was in pitch darkness. There was a Tiger Interpretation Centre which was a very commendable attempt at telling us about the secret life of a Tiger.

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A beautiful morning at Pench.

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Panjim City

In 2006, I and a friend went biking to attend the International Film Festival if India at Panjim City, Goa. These are some images from that epic (by those days’) journey.

Panjim, also known as Panaji, is the capital of Goa. Panjim City is the oldest civic institution in India. Being such an old city, it is full of heritage and plenty of fanatic places to stay.

 

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A cup of chai at Krishna before we leave Law College Road, Pune.

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We avoided NH17, the Goa Highway. Instead we took the Pune – Bangalore Highway, NH3 and cut through the Ghats at Bhor, if I remember correct.

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Mumbai to Coorg by Road

The retreating rains call for one last time to cavort under the cloudy skies and misty winds. Just the right time when we decided to road trip to south of India, to Coorg, in the Western Ghats of Karnataka. The first stop of our journey was Belgaum as we wanted to drive through the Anshi National … Read more

A one day trip to Malacca, Malaysia

During one of our work trips to Malaysia, hopped onto a car and drove to Malacca. It is a cheerful little town with loads to shop and eat. The main thing to try is the Hainanese Chicken Rice. Its a simple Chicken Rice dish with a distinctly unique flavour. The town has a strong Portuguese influence … Read more

A visit to a tribal school

These images are from a visit to a rural school, sometime in September 2008. The school is supported by the Impact India Foundation, which also runs the incredible LifeLine Express, a hospital in a train.        

Kasauli

October 2010. Our short trip to Kasauli was also one of our most memorable. It’s a small cantonment town, and as such, retains the quintessential ‘quaint hill station’ flavour more than most hill stations. The place to stay is the Himachal Tourism Department’s Ross Common Hotel (an erstwhile colonial bungalow). It has the best views, … Read more

Malshej Ghat : A Drive

One of the favourite driving destinations from Mumbai.

Its a beautiful drive along undulating drives, but only after about one and a half hours from Mumbai.
Its a beautiful drive along undulating drives, but only after about one and a half hours from Mumbai.

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Paddy fields spring to life in the monsoons

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At the MSTDC Resort in Malshej Ghat, the monsoon clouds and fog all but cover a tree.